this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: and good evening, everyone. it's a lot more widespread than they thought. federal health officials today put out new number for the h1n1 flu. they showed 22 million americans have come down with it so far, and nearly 4,000 have died, including 540 chirp. but the officials say the higher numbers do not mean the epidemic is getting worse, we're just getting a much more accurate count. here's dr. jon lapook. >> reporter: today's numbers are about four times higher than what the c.d.c. reported just six days ago. >> oh, i know! >> our estimates, we believe, give us a better estimate of how much disease, hospitalization, and death there is. >> reporter: the government now believes roughly eight million children have come down with the virus. in addition to the 540 who have died, 36,000 have been hospitalized. among adults 18 to 64, there were an estimated 12 million cases. 53,000 h deaths.